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Peter Salakas, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Peter Salakas, NSW (b. 1985)

Name: Peter Salakas
Age: 26 (Born: February 1985)
Gender: Male
State: NSW

For Peter Salakas, the party is just getting started.

‘Steady’ and ‘growth’ have been the bywords for Salakas and his older brother, Dean, since they bought the family business, The Party People, in 2007. Under their care, the party-supply retailer has expanded from four employees to more than 20. Annual revenue has more than doubled and the company enjoys the largest market share of any similar online retailer in Australia.

The Salakas brothers made their mark by strengthening The Party People’s online presence. According to Sydney Morning Herald article, Dean began to experiment with Google AdWords 10 years ago. “I spent a dollar a day on AdWords,” he told SMH, “and we got two online orders each day. With an average spend of $50 per order, that was a good effort.”

The SMH article generated some marketing buzz for The Party People, as did the retailer’s participation in the latest MasterChef Australia competition, for which they provided party stuff for a “children’s party” episode. Salakas says many people contact The Party People asking for “the same decorations as MasterChef.”

The Salakas boys bring separate strengths to the table. One has the ability to create systems and manage complex problems through programming or analytics. The other is a team motivator, able to whip the staff into shape to they work more effectively.

Even when asked to describe his biggest setback, the reply is framed by success. During their first year of ownership, some of the changes the brothers made resulted in sales nearly doubling. They didn’t have the proper staffing to handle demand during normal business hours, for Peter and Dean worked 18 to 20 hours a day for three months until the high season for parties passed and they could take a breath, train staff and simply their systems.

The Party People will soon take a big step forward, opening a 1,700-square-metre store in Drummoyne. It will be five times larger than their current flagship store in Sans Souci.

Anthill asks: Peter Salakas, what motivates you?

“Thousands of people all over Australia have memorable parties from items they purchase from my business.We get many thank you letters from customers after the success of their events.”

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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